Friday, 13 July 2012

Books that have stuck in my mind

I’ve been given the Booker Award. Not THE Booker Award, as in the Man Booker Prize. That would be silly. This is a blogging Booker Award presented to me by the lovely Kathy McKendry from Imagine TodayMy task is to list out my top five favourite books of all time and then pass the award on to five more bloggers. 

Picking five books is not easy. There are so many I could have chosen. Having said that, I’m not an obsessive reader. If I’m not instantly gripped I’ll often discard a book rather than ‘plough on’. I’ve selected the following because the stories have stuck in my mind and I didn’t once want to stop reading, even the one that I hated!

Miss Garnet’s Angel by Sally Vickers
I read this shortly before we went to Venice. Mr A had read it too and we spent a fascinating morning retracing Miss Garnet’s footsteps.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
I hated every painful plot-turn of this story and normally I’d have stopped reading right near the beginning but I was totally gripped. I couldn’t bear it yet I couldn’t stop reading it and I’ll never forget it.

Old Filth by Jane Gardam
This book was recommended by a friend when I needed cheering up and it certainly did that. Old Filth, an elderly International Lawyer, is a fascinating character. Gardam weaves a tantilizingly complicated web of relationships, much of it set in the days of a fading Empire.

On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill
I flicked through the pages before taking this photograph. They’re going a browny/yellow, the way old paperbacks do, but I was drawn in once again by Hill’s sometimes hilarious, often moving use of language. [This blog post would have appeared a little earlier if I hadn’t just reread Chapter 2!]

Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris
This is an unusual book and I know a number of people who have said, “You don’t mean that one where the bottle of wine tells the story?” Well yes, but that’s not why I’ve chosen it. I loved the suggestions of supernatural. I loved the relationships and once more I couldn’t put it down.

I'm going to pass this award on to the following bloggy folk:
[Apologies if you've already received one.]

Anne Mackle who blogs at Is Anyone There?, recently set up a new blog called Books with Wine and Chocolate and isn't feeling too well at the moment so "Get well soon, Anne!"
Francene Stanley at Stitching Words
Susan Clow at Getting a Word In
Annalisa Crawford at Wake up, eat, write, sleep
Susan Roebuck at Susan Roebuck


  1. I only ever read The Kite Runner, which was pretty good. Sort of explained why we've had such a hard time "winning" the war in Afghanistan.

  2. Great post. I've only read the Kite Runner, not sure if I loved it I did like it. It's great reading other people's favourite books!

  3. I haven't read any of those. But 1984 and To Kill a Mocking Bird stuck in my mind. And Anne of Greene Gable and The Witches of Worm (creepy).


  4. I LOVED Blackberry Wine for the characters, the description and for the chanciness.

    Miss Garnett's Angel is gentle, kind read.

    I started Kit Runner, but couldn't get into it.

    Reginald Hill is a fab writer. Who does not love Dalziel and Pascoe?

    Old Filth is unknown to me - I shall have to look out for it.

  5. I feel pathetic - I haven't read any of these. I have deliberately avoided the kite runner. I'm not sure I want to read those tough stories any more. I did when I was younger, not now though :)

  6. Thank you Rosalind. I'm honoured - it's a lovely award and I'll get onto posting. :-)

    We have similar reading tastes - I adored your first three too (especially Old Filth, hilarious). And I've read Blackberry Wine, but I preferred her Lollipop Shoes. So all I've got to do now is read the Reginald Hill.

  7. Thanks for the award Ros its the first time I've seen this one. I've not read any of those books,not quite sure why. I will have fun looking for mine.

  8. Thanks Rosalind, I love this award. I've coveted it for a while, and now I get to take part. It'll have to go in a queue though - I've been a bit slack with blogging recently!

    I'm definitely going to try out Blackberry Wine - I had no idea what the story was, and you've made it sound very intriguing! Thanks.

  9. The only one I've read of your choices is the kKiterunner but I am intrigued by the Blackberry wine... I may give it a go!

  10. I've only heard of the Kite Runner. Congrats on the award.

  11. So Blackberry Wine intrigued me enough that I requested it from my library.
    Congrats on the award. Good choices to pass on.

  12. I have heard of the Kite Runner but not read it. Not sure I want to now! I must get Blackberry Wine though as I like Joanne Harris. A for stopping before finishing a book - I rarely do that but "We need to talk about Kevin" was so depressing that I gave up. Oddly enough, I couldn't even give it away in the pub, which just goes to show I'm not the only one reluctant to read unmitigated gloom!

  13. I've not read any on your list. I tried The Kite Runner but couldn't get into it. I think one of the top on my list would be Eat, Pray, Love.

  14. Congrats on your award. And thanks for the book recommendations!

  15. Congrats opn the award, well deserved.


  16. Great post! I totally agree with not ploughing through something that isn't interesting is far too short and there are too many books to be read in any case.

    I have not read one on your list but may now read Reginald Hill.

    I shall look in on the blogs you've listed now, to see what they choose.

  17. Congratulations on the award. Your post title grabbed my attention and I had to find out which books had grabbed yours. Of these, I have only read The Kite Runner, a book I really liked.

  18. I haven't read any of these, but Kite Runner is on my wish list. They all sound good, though. Also, I am one of those people who ploughs on, and I regretted that recently. I just don't have that kind of time anymore. Here's to putting it down when it's no good!

  19. LOVED the Kite Runner! Haven't read the others but will take a good look :)

  20. Kite Runner was quite a story. I haven't read the other ones, I'll have to check them out.

  21. In my old age, time is too precious to waste on forcing myself to read something. The only book I've read is the Kite Runner and it was hard, but as you said, really worth it.

  22. Thanks, Rosalie, for nominating me. I recognize the great honor you're offering, but unfortunately, I must decline. This is a tough decision and I hope I haven't let my family down by stepping away. Perhaps I could go down as 'The woman who refused her award'. Has a nice ring to it, and will be sure to get me recognized and remembered.

  23. Ros, You haven't mentioned any children's books! One of my favourites is Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson and you can still read it as an adult and enjoy it. Couldn't get on with Blackberry Wine at all but I loved Chocolat.

  24. Hi Ros .. it's posts like this when I realise I need to get back reading properly and start my book education - which is sadly lacking ...

    I guess I'll stop falling asleep so often fairly soon ... these recommendations look good -

    Cheers Hilary


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